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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia trip’

Dick at front of campsite

Dick at front of campsite

Highly recommend this for an overnight, or more. Beautiful campsites along the lake, and in the “mountains”. If you come off-season (we’re here March 25-6) it’s very private and quiet. It’s been raining while we’re here – lovely enough- but the hiking looks like it would be wonderful. We did our nightly spin on paved roads and it was good enough.
View from campground walk in Red Top Mountain State Park

View from campground walk in Red Top Mountain State Park

Another big plus – for us… a lodge with a restaurant. We had a very nice and inexpensive dinner (shrimp and catfish) overlooking the grounds. Nice to come back to camp with no dishes to do, just blogs to catch up on 🙂

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3385381313_96761658f2_m1Two nights ago, we were at FD Roosevelt State Park and had a wonderful fire. (Yes, of course we went outside ;))

3383797042_3f1bc1e5d6_m5The next night we were at Indian Springs State Park, and laid a fire, but didn’t light it because we heard rain was coming.
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And tonight, we’re at Red Top Mountain State Park and the rain is here. And it’s beautiful, to listen to on the roof, and look out at, across the lake.

I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain. And I love them both.

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3383794016_7b444784a8_m-1Yes, the Whistle Stop Cafe exists. And trains still pass close-by, every 20 minutes or so.

If you’re not a film buff, the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes”, was filmed largely in Juliette, Georgia, a tiny town that was all but dead before filming began here. Now the Whistle Stop Cafe averages 600 people a day in season, with many visitors waiting over an hour to enter the sacred space – which looks the same as it did in the movie. We were told. We bought the DVD and will watch tonight, or soon, and compare it to our memory and photos. (Of course it would have been better to watch it first and then visit, but hey – this is a spontaneous trip!)

3382939035_eab6d93117We were able to choose wherever we wanted to sit, and ordered fried green tomatoes, and fried chicken and okra and different kinds of peas and beans. Although I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat there again, as a movie junkie, it was a visual feast.

What was harder to stomach was Jarrell Plantation, further down the road.

Much was made, in the introductory film, about how the Jarrell family built such a (relatively) successful plantation – which would never had been possible, as the film itself points out, without all the toil and sweat of his slaves. If I remember the script correctly, the slaves were called Jarrell’s biggest assets, and whenever he made any money, he invested in more slaves or more land. We were encouraged to be grateful to have been made heirs to this piece of history and property, because of the generous donation of the site by Jarrell descendents, when it came time to split it up. ( Although, you can still give them money more directly by staying at a B&B one of the nephews runs next door.)

As repugnant as slavery is, it IS part of history. And I don’t have a problem going to any site where history is represented, however unsavory, and I don’t need a politically correct spin to make me feel better. But, dang it, if I’m on a plantation that was built on slave labor, I would like to see some representation of that. And I understand why in many instances it may be hard to document their stories, but at least tell/remind us of why this is the case. They existed here. What I saw was a lot of buildings and machinery, extolling the technological adaptations a son of Jarrell made (a sugar cane press, sawmill, cotton gin, grist mill,etc.). But the slaves have disappeared from the site.

There was one pile of rocks near the exit, where a slave cabin had burned.

Somehow, I don’t feel like I got an accurate picture…

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3380052291_af389de405_mWe’re staying in FD Roosevelt State Park, at this campsite. Perfect for visiting FDR’s Georgia “White House” in Warm Springs.
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This is where FDR was sitting, having his portrait painted, when he had his fatal stroke and died here in 1945. The unfinished portrait is haunting. So is his legacy.

What struck me most about this iconic figure was his lesser-known side, as polio victim and crusader for all those suffering this debilitating disease. He was so careful of his public image in his time, we don’t usually see beyond the vigorous and forceful persona. At Warm Springs, this other side comes out to play.

Here, he swam in the springs, first in hopes of a cure for himself. Didn’t happen, although he felt restored. Soon after, he bought the springs and established a foundation dedicated to rehabilitation and cure. My favorite photos/family movies are of him grinning, while swimming and frolicking with children, afflicted with polio, but buoyant in the water and having the time of their lives, trying to dunk the President.
At his “Little White House” when you stand in his tiny bedroom, adjacent to his bathroom, with tub, etc. equipped so that he could probably use it, unaided, you get a sense of what will and determination it must have taken to do just the daily tasks we all, or at least those lucky of us, take for granted. Let alone lead a nation.

Politics aside, I admired what he did here.

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Just realized we hadn’t posted any interior shots (except of Taylor) so while Dick was building a fire tonight I took a few. Who had the harder job?

Here’s where we spend most of our time.

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And make food for Taylor, and sometimes ourselves.

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The bed without the “snoring mechanism”.
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The spacious vanity – I’m sitting as far back on my bed as I can to get this shot.3380878680_317972a64c_m1

Full circle.

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3377027012_da47807139_mWow. A few weeks ago, I would have said, “yippee, give me the key!” Unlimited hot showers, no turning the water on and off while you suds up, big sinks and mirrors – and beds, big regular-shaped beds with duvets and lots of pillows, plenty of room to move around, no little RV chores/routines to do before bed-time, or in the morning.

So, when we checked into the Mountain Creek Inn last night, one of the on-site hotels run by Callaway Gardens, an attraction we were planning on visiting anyway, I wasn’t prepared for this. I was not ecstatic. Neither was Dick. We were homesick.

It started when we grabbed our toiletries for the night, clothes for dinner and the next day, and said goodbye to Taylor (sweet old cat). And locked the door and walked away.

It didn’t get better when, after a nice Italian dinner, we feel like coming back for games or a movie. Some popcorn? But, we walk past the Navion and head to our room.

Taylor’s not there and most of the stuff we immediately think we might want is not there- another book, some hot milk, some anti-itching cream for the bug bites we get while hiking, a different pair of glasses?

But most of all, it doesn’t feel “cozy”. Cozy is a word I love. It’s what my Mom and Dad used to call each other, instead of dear, darling, honey. To me it’s everything safe and close, kind of like everything you need is in one, not very large space, never far from you.

So, our little Navion 24J, is cozy. And I have my cozy (husband) with me. And we are cozy in it with our Taylor, and glad to be back on the road.

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Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia

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3371644934_90698a557f_m-11It’s in an idyllic setting. A Georgia village set in 1850. And it looks like a real, working village, every street beckons you to explore, there are homes of many types, gardens, merchants, public buildings, livestock. I can feel time warp as we walk in.

But the living history aspect is gone. The funds are no longer there. They’ve just done a total transformation here. There used to be a woodworker, basketweaver, candle-maker, blacksmith, a working log-cabin kitchen turning out gingerbread and pies and biscuits, people running the cotton gin, the cotton press, the list goes on. Now there are three costumed guides (who, on our tour, used to be the cabin cook, the woodworker and the candle-maker) taking us on 3 back to back tours, which cover different parts and aspects of the village. They did a fine job as tour guides. They obviously love and care about this village.

But they miss using their skills, they miss when the village was “alive” with occupants, all going about their business in 1850.

So, we did too. And we hope that the economy (and good decisions by the Museum) will bring that “life” back to this village and the people that work there, soon.

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